Creative people tend to have rituals and superstitions about the way they work. Guillermo Del Toro, for example, continues to sketch out characters and ideas for his films in a simple spiral notebook to this day. Perhaps it keeps the visionary director connected to the mindset he had before earning an Academy Award nomination. In any case, the contents of some of his sketchbooks recently found their way onto Reddit for all the world to enjoy.
One movie-focused member of the aggregator site gained access to and posted a collection of 20 hand-scrawled Del Toro sketches. These drawings date back at least to The Devil’s Backbone, the 2001 Spanish-language horror movie that first attracted international attention for the director, and cover his catalog all the way through to this summer’s Pacific Rim. There are even sketches detailing ideas for the doomed, as-yet-unfilmed project, At the Mountain’s of Madness, which was discussed at length in The New Yorker’s profile of Del Toro in 2011.
As the Reddit user notes in the comments, Del Toro includes his contact information on the cover page of each book and offers a $5,000 reward to anyone who finds it. (Guess anything that important shouldn’t rely on the Casey Neistat method.) Apparently, the sketchbook he used in the lead-up to Pan’s Labyrinth almost got let behind in a cab in London once, instilling Del Toro with justifiable paranoia going forward.
In addition to the images we can now see, the sketchbook also contains the director’s notes on whatever movie he was brainstorming at the time. Many of them are illegible to anyone who isn’t named Guillermo Del Toro, but then sometimes amidst the chickenscratch, words like “Faceless Caveberserker” will jump out, demanding attention. See what other gems you can make out in the slides above.